Prospect Rio Gomez on dad Pedro's support
It's an emotional spring for Red Sox prospect Rio Gomez, whose father, beloved national baseball reporter Pedro Gomez, died unexpectedly last month at age 58.
On Tuesday, Gomez joined the broadcast of Boston's Spring Training game against the Rays on ESPN, the network where his father covered Major League Baseball for many years. He talked about what it meant to him to have Pedro support him on his journey through collegiate and professional baseball, both over the phone and from the stands.
"It meant the world to me," Gomez said on the broadcast. "There were times, obviously, where I'd be struggling, and whatever he could do via the phone -- from Arizona when I was in Spring Training, or somewhere along the East Coast for a Minor League affiliate -- he tried to always help as best he could. And then there would be times where I think he realized that no matter what he could say through the phone, that him showing up in person was what I was gonna need."
Rio, a 26-year-old left-handed pitcher who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2017, recalled one surprise visit from Pedro that was especially meaningful.
"There was a time when I was in extended spring training in 2018, and I was just having a tough time, I was really upset, where it felt like my career was just slipping away," Gomez said. "And out of the blue, he just showed up in Fort Myers and surprised me. And he was there for a week, and it was everything I needed just to be able to turn everything around."
Pedro Gomez covered more than 25 World Series and more than 20 All-Star Games in his 35-year career. He famously covered Barry Bonds' pursuit of Hank Aaron's all-time home run record, and he said his favorite event that he covered was Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS between the Marlins and Cubs at Wrigley Field.